In case anyone doubted it, Vic Schaefer reminded everyone of Teaira McCowan’s importance.

“You saw the value of Teiara McCowan to our program tonight,” Schaefer said.

It was hard to ignore. The junior ignited Mississippi State with 21 points and 18 rebounds, leading the Bulldogs to a 71-56 win over Oklahoma State. They will face North Carolina State on Friday in Kansas City in their third straight Sweet 16 appearance.

The third quarter against the Cowgirls is really where McCowan took over. She lifted MSU from a slow first half with 12 points and 6 rebounds, giving her squad a 55-45 lead heading into the final frame.

Watch WJTV 12’s Tyler Greever’s full report above on how this performance showed how much McCowan has grown as a player.